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Modern malware, like new-gen cyber-attacks, rarely spread through an automated wormlike infection as they have in the past, because it’s too easy for your anti-malware software to spot its activities, block the malware and quarantine it.

Yet, cybercrime is getting worse, malware infections are still common, and data breaches seem to be a daily occurrence. This is happening because many organizations haven’t updated their defenses against cybercrime to match the ever-changing nature of the attackers, and too many IT managers are making do with half-measures when it comes to protecting their IT environment.

To protect yourself, your enterprise must adopt a multilayered approach to security.

Here are eight levels of security to help you avoid or mitigate attacks:

  • Perimeter security: Firewalls are an essential piece to keeping criminals out of your network. Make sure you stay up to date and adopt new practices when they appear.
  • Anti-malware products: Your antivirus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and intrusion detection and prevention measures are your next line of defense.
  • Security monitoring: Most small and midsized companies don’t have the staff required to monitor their networks for anomalies, so consider engaging a security-as-a-service provider.
  • Patch management: The primary means of attacking a network directly is by taking advantage of unpatched operating systems, applications or security software, so you can no longer afford to wait to apply patches.
  • Network segmentation: Internal firewalls and routers can help prevent network intruders from getting access to your network, and they can also help keep malware from spreading.
  • Filtering: Filtering your incoming email helps screen out most phishing attacks, and filtering websites helps keep web attacks away from your IT environment.
  • Encryption: Encrypt everything—attackers may just need one item of data from you that you might not think is important but that can enable their next attack.
  • And finally, security awareness training: This is critical for fighting the social engineering that accompanies phishing emails, CEO attacks and other non-direct attacks, including efforts to get copies of your phone lists and customer files.

While these eight levels of security are a great start, this list is not exhaustive. Some industries may need protections not listed here, and the security landscape could certainly change by tomorrow. That means that you must stay on top of the current threats when they’re emerging.

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